Refrigerat-aargh Pre-Shopping   1 comment

While waiting for our home loan to be processed, my husband and I decided to pre-shop for a new refrigerator so that when we have possession of the house we can have the decision already made on what model of fridge and can move on to floors. It was supposed to be an efficient way to make decisions. Not so much.

I started by downloaded the list of Energy Star refrigerators from the EPA website: fifteen hundred models! So how to narrow down? That’s the part that has not been as easy as we thought.

Our original plan was to get a bottom freezer unit because for years I have heard that bottom freezer units are more energy efficient. Turns out, according to Energy Star, that top freezer units are more efficient. But we had been planning for so long for a bottom freezer that we got used to the idea and were looking forward to a bottom freezer. So I’m attempting to figure out if there really is a difference, and so far it is inconclusive (different sizes, etc.). And it means that I am not yet willing to filter out either top or bottom freezer units. (Side-by-side units are absolutely out because that is the least energy- and space-efficient configuration.)

I had previously figured that we would, of course, get an automatic ice maker. It seemed like a “duh” decision. Then we actually thought about it and realized maybe not. A fridge with an automatic ice maker in the freezer is less energy-efficient than one with no ice maker. If you open the freezer door frequently to get ice, than it is probably more energy-efficient overall to get the ice maker. But if you don’t open the freezer very often for ice, than it is probably more efficient not to get the ice maker. I don’t ever get ice, and my husband only uses ice for less than half of the year, so does that mean no ice maker?

At least we can rule out the door dispenser of water and ice since neither of us wants that. And I’ve narrowed the size down to 18-20 cubic feet. Currently we are jammed into a 15 or 16 cubic foot refrigerator, but all of the buying guides recommend staying under 20 cubic feet for better energy-efficiency unless you really need the larger size.

In addition to the Energy Star list, frustrations abound online and in stores, also. In order to help narrow down I am trying to view the specifications for the models online to rule out features that we don’t want. But the specification lists are not really that helpful: “Door Bin Quantity: 2; Door Bin 2 Quantity: 1”. Huh? And they all show a picture of the front of the fridge. Ok, so I know what the handle looks like. Big whoop. I’d like to see a picture of the inside. After all, that is where the action is! Those few models where I have found interior pictures have been a bit suspicious. When the same interior photo is posted for two different models, are they both right? When the specifications say no ice maker but the photo shows an ice maker, are they describing the same model?

When we did our initial browse at a physical store, we were very glad that we weren’t buying yet because we did not find a single model on the floor that we liked. I should take that back: we found configurations and features that we liked in 21 cubic foot models and stripped down models in 16-18 cubic foot units. Oh, plus on the floor the choice was also between black/white basic model or stainless steel fancy model. What about the middle-of-the-price-road black/white fancy model?

To be continued…. after I’ve had some sleep and more time to “shop”.

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Posted June 18, 2010 by mayakey in energy use, home, shopping

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One response to “Refrigerat-aargh Pre-Shopping

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  1. Just buy the refrigerator that what you think you’ll be needing!!free yourself from all the worries…

    Laying laminate flooring

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